The Dream is a beautiful ship, and the largest ship that our family has been on so far. We were able to get on the ship early. I guess we missed the rush of cruisers and was able to board fairly quick. I suggest bringing a carry on bag with some essentials and swim suits, as you can use the pools as soon as you board. This helped us keep our little ones (8 and 2 years old) occupied until our cabins became available. We also went to the Lido Deck restaurants and got some lunch right away.
Our cabin was ready for us before 2. Our luggage came to us around 5, as we were getting ready for dinner (we had the early 6PM sitting, so we were rushed to get ready). We had a balcony cabin, which had amazing views! After having this balcony cabin, I don't think we could go back to a interior cabin again! Having myself with my wife and two daughters, this gives me a place to relax as I wait for the ladies to get ready.
The food was great, as we took advantage of the sit down breakfast twice, and ate at the Lido deck buffet for breakfast and lunch. Having picky eaters in our group (an 8 and 14 year old), there were plenty of options to keep them happy. The Pizza place and soft serve ice cream is always open. However, the sit down dinners were fantastic in my opinion. If you are a fan of lobster, here is a tip: you can ask for two of them! I have done this on my last two cruises. There was also a BBQ on the deck on one of the fun days at sea.
Entertainment on the ship was great, as usual. I highly suggest the Adult Comedy Club and the piano bar if you are into that scene. Our kids also had a great time at Camp Carnival. My family spent a lot of time out by the pool and in the water park. The slides were fun, as my daughter and I raced down quite a bit. However I warn you, the wooden deck can be very hot on bare feet!!! Mini golf was a huge hit with my 8 year old and I, We played a few times.
We had a great time aboard the Dream, and have met some people we still keep in contact with. We have already booked another Carnival Cruise, and have never left disappointed.